In California, most employment is considered "at will". This form of employment follows the principle that either the employer or the employee may terminate the relationship at any point, for any reason. The only exception to "at-will" employment is that the employment can not be terminated in a manner that breaks the law.
Employment not falling in the "at will" category is subject to different limitations and requirements, so you should be sure to know the classification of your work setup. In general, employment that is subject to a set period employment contract is not considered to be "at will", and termination may only happen in accordance with procedures outlined in the contract.
What are the Illegal Grounds for Terminating At Will Employment in California?
In the state of California, employee discrimination is the most common illegal ground for termination in an at-will employment. Employers are barred from terminating their employees on the basis of race, gender, religion, or nationality. An employer also may not fire an at-will employee in retaliation for the employee initiating an investigation into discrimination or filing a legal claim of discrimination against the Berkeley employer.
Additionally, employers are prohibited by the Family and Medical Leave act from firing those employees who take leave in order to address family or medical concerns. Finally, employees are protected from being terminated by their employer for performing a legal obligation, exercising their legal rights, or for refusing to participate in an illegal act.
Do I Need a California Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
Attorneys in Berkeley, California may be able to inform you as to whether a wrongful termination has occurred, and can assist you in collecting the required documents for your case. There may also be unique or unfamiliar procedures, and an attorney can guide you through these as well.